Social Question

Frenchfry's avatar

How can start feeling positive about relationship a son or daughter gets into that you don't 100% approve of?

Asked by Frenchfry (7564points) September 20th, 2010

My stepson, i consider him my son is in the navy and hooked up with a girl who is 18 and met on a chat line that you pay to show her semi naked. They have been seeing each other for month . She came down to to visit him ,and NOW is moving in with him and his roommates . Today ( he is on our cell phone plan with Sprint ) he added her and his father APPROVED. My husband has a soft heart for people in need.I am a softie but not as much. I pay our bills and I worried and don’t approve. How can I change my mind?I am not heartless. This girl does not like her living arrangements at home.I am at a loss. My stepson is 24. I worry about him with all this. I am worried about him more. I can not tell him what to do. Thanks Fluther I feel better. I ranted . Thanks for anyone who listened.

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31 Answers

janbb's avatar

I listened and I empathize but there is not much more you can do but listen and be available to help him pick up the pieces if and when things go awry.

wundayatta's avatar

You don’t have to approve of the relationship. You merely need to hold your tongue and be polite.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

At 24 he’s old enough to take care of himself and to make his own decisions. Trust you have taught him well enough to make those decisions and to live with the consequences if he makes a mistake. Sometimes he will learn more from a mistake so you have to stand back sometimes, even if you don’t want to. Just let him know your there if he needs you.

Frenchfry's avatar

Am I being a bitch? I have always tried not to be the evil stepmother..

janbb's avatar

@Frenchfry No – we parents all have reactions to our chilren’s choices. It’s just hard to realize that they are adults and their choices are – theirs.

Jeruba's avatar

I agree with @wundayatta. The chances are good that this is not his last romance. Be as cordial, warm, and welcoming as you can possibly find it in yourself to be, and don’t judge. Over the long term your relationship with him will be the better for it, and that’s what you want to preserve. Turning a cold shoulder will cost you your influence, and someday you may want it.

Meanwhile, try to see him and this young woman in as favorable a light as possible and let him come to his own conclusions in time.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Frenchfry Far from it. No parent but I get the same feelings for my neices and nephew. :)

RANGIEBABY's avatar

The question I have is, did he add her to the cell phone account, with her own phone? No matter, either way I see a little issue coming up with the cell phone. It might be better to cut the phone line now, rather than when it becomes a problem. The reason I say that is, you have already brought it up, as an issue. Can your son afford his own phone account?

Frenchfry's avatar

@RANGIEBABY He has a problem in the past . We have recovered and now we are on unlimited plan and he found a phone for free for her..It will cost $25.00 a month more. He said he will pay for it. The only thing is if he does not make rank (upgrade) through a test, he will be out of the Navy. I am not sure how it will pay out. I will know by the end of the year. I just wish he would use or get his own. He can add her if she wants. I not sure he would be approved. I am pissed he added her without asking . He just did it and then told.His dad is like ok. I am sitting here alittle like Uh? what? This is a family plan she is not family, atleast not yet. I mean. I need to learn to be okay with this.

iamthemob's avatar

@Frenchfry

You don’t need to learn to be okay with this. Be okay with the fact that you’re not okay – none of us likes to see what we think is a family member getting into trouble (regardless of the validity of that perception).

You only need to learn to pretend that you’re okay with this. If things get out of hand, it should be a little more clear when you need to step in…;-)

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Frenchfry As far as I am concerned, you don’t need to be okay with the fact that he added her without asking. That is your account, and you pay for it. Does she work? Can she work?

Jeruba's avatar

The phone is a separate issue from the relationship. There is no way that you should be picking up her expenses. If you are not reimbursed for this extraordinary consideration, she should not be carried on your account.

Your stepson probably subscribes to the supremely self-centered philosophy of our time, one of the featured tenets of which is “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” People think they’re clever when they say this, but it really means running roughshod over the rights and prerogatives of others. I see the first part of that grinning maxim carried out more freely than the second. Adding her without the consent of the bill payer was exceedingly presumptuous and possibly outrageous.

Frenchfry's avatar

@RANGIEBABY remember I told you she gets paid for people to see her semi , almost naked over the internet. Another reason I am weary. Maybe she is just a baby 18 is a baby to me in a bad situation or is it?. I don’t know it truthfully. It like asking someone would you have a relationship with a hooker or a person who poses for playboy?. It’s the unknown about her character. It’s like would you date someone who strips.? Would you 100% trust that person in a relationship? What would feel about someone in your family dating such a person?

iamthemob's avatar

@Frenchfry

Unfortunately, with all the sexting scandals etc., and the fact that kid’s lives are almost completely public on the internet, I think this is more the trend. Realize that this generation grew up with a very, very different concept of the difference between public and private.

I’d be aware, but try not to be judgmental (you seem to be handling that so far very well). There’s nothing inherently immoral or wrong in that. Why she’s doing it now, and why she started to do it in the first place, that could very well be a concern.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Frenchfry If it were me in this situation, I would have a sit down conversation with my son. The sooner the better. Let him know your concerns in a way that he can not only understand but sympathize with your concerns.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

At his age then I’d expect he and the girl to be on their own calling plan. I’d expect the son to take the chips dealt him when choosing a partner and hold my tongue as best I could. I wouldn’t be very excited about this pairing but wouldn’t say much about it other than I hope he does well for what he wants and then leave him to it. Argh, I wouldn’t like what your husband did but too late. I too know people with great big squishy hearts who like to help out others who are down and out, they get taken advantage of a lot.

Frenchfry's avatar

@RANGIEBABY thanks and everyone I feel better. My husband came home and said he added her. I was like what? As long as he pays for it! I am concerned for him he just seems to have bad luck when it comes to women unless they are married!

YARNLADY's avatar

All I can say is we went through the same thing with my son, he even married her. She abandoned him and took everything they owned while he was on a six month deployment on an aircraft carrier. The first he heard about it was when he got a notice of eviction on his apartment for non payment of rent, and a repossession notice on his car for nonpayment of the loan. He was in the Gulf at the time.

It was pretty expensive for us, because he had a nervous breakdown, got fired from the Navy, had to declare bankruptcy for thousands of dollars of debt she had charged on his power of attorney, and the divorce took twice as long as usual because she had left no forwarding address and we had to publish notices in newspapers and send registered mail to her parents address.

Our insurance policy provided therapy for him for several months when he returned, and he gradually recovered.

Unfortunately, he didn’t do much better the next time, but we are enjoying our two darling grandsons, in spite of the daughter in law from hell. I have them at my house most of the time, because she can’t deal with them.

Hawkeye's avatar

Well it’s good to see that you really care for your stepson. I guess he has to find out for himself if he made a mistake or not. We have all done that. Just wait to your daughter reaches that age, at least you will have had practice.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Well, as soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

While the only positive thing about the relationship in your eyes at this time may be that your son is happy, surely there are other qualities. Be open to discovering them. Speaking your mind, and even showing your emotions, rarely makes a difference, other than to cause more stress on everyone.

I sometimes wonder if people get involved in a relationship because, other than attraction, they feel that they can ‘save’ the person from their lifestyle. A nephew was in this type of relationship a couple of years ago. They dated and eventually lived together, and it took a year for it to wind down. He is still friends with her and helps her out every once in awhile. His mother kept her feelings about it from her son, treated the girlfriend well, and when she needed to vent, would turn to us.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I agree with what you say. His relationship with her is his and his alone. However, the only issue to be dealt with is the cell phone as it affect Frenchfry directly.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RANGIEBABY I don’t think the cell phone issue is the only one Frenchfry is dealing with. In fact, I’d say that it is the most minor of the concerns, as it can be resolved. Either she is taken off the list or someone else pays for the additional charge. The son is the one who asked for her to be added, and the husband is the one who approved it. The Sprint Friends and Family wouldn’t legally exclude the girlfriend. The original question could have well stood alone without this detail.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Yes, I see what you are saying. It is just that the cell phone issue seemed to be the more dominant thing, and made me wonder if it is really the relationship with the girl that is bothering her. I may be way off base, as I very often am. That is what happens when I read between the lines.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I am guilty of getting distracted as well, and it is usually from reading through the whole thread where the answers get focused on one detail and not the big picture. I really try to go back to the original question and re-read it before posting an answer.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I guess the way she over emphasized the word APPROVED, made me think their is more to this than the son’s choice in girlfriends.

Frenchfry's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer He added her and then told his father which angered me or pissed me off a bit. I am better now. I vented to you guys. Thank you. Yes. You have a point .even if it was reading between the lines he lets his son get away with this because he does not spend much time with him and he loves him. Maybe his father feels guilty , his little boy away from home type thing. I still don’t know the girl to actually or if ever come to conclusion or to say anything about her. I am bothered by both. His relationship really did not effect me besides seeing him get hurt—which I hate to see—till he added her to our phone plan, which maybe in the future could effect me.maybe Anyway I ranted when I was alittle pissed . He came home to tell me. I feel better. Thanks guys for listening.I appreciate it. I got some sleep. Only time will tell whether she is using him. cross fingers she is not

bippee's avatar

FF, doesn’t your stepson stay with you sometimes? Well does that mean the gf will be staying with you too? Boundaries need to be set I think. You are not always going to like your children’s friends, but disapproving of them loudly will only push them together (i know).

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Frenchfry You also need to be extremely careful with stepchildren. I’m one and if my stepfather messed with my life in any way I would take it very negatively.

RANGIEBABY's avatar

@Frenchfry Son or stepson, it does not matter. When it comes to imposing on your income in anyway, you have every bit as much right to object, as your husband does to approve it. There comes a time when these kids need to learn being an adult that is old enough to have a partner, is also old enough to pay for it. Good luck dear.

Frenchfry's avatar

@bippee Yes he comes home on leave. He can stay a week . He can stay three days it varies. He will be getting out from the Navy soon.
@Adirondackwannabe I know I have not said anything to him or her personally. I don’t think I would. I was just letting out alittle steam. Unless like @RANGIEBABY says it effect me in the pocket or personally.

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